The last two years have taken a toll on our collective mental health, with anxiety, stress and burnout seemingly on the rise.
But New Brewery Arts in Cirencester is encouraging Gloucestershire residents to have a go at arts and crafts to help boost their mental wellbeing as we recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the largest study of its kind – the BBC Arts Great British Creativity Test report – creative activities such as calligraphy, creating art, jewellery-making and pottery can help people to manage their mood and boost their wellbeing.
Almost 50,000 people took part in the survey, with over 75 per cent of them saying that creativity helped them to block out stress and anxiety.
Senior research fellows leading the study said that creativity can be used as a coping mechanism to control emotions, with distraction, contemplation and self-development being the three main reasons participants gave for undertaking creative activities.
While research from University College London found that engaging with visual arts can reduce anxiety and visiting museums can help protect against the onset of dementia.
One of New Brewery Arts’ key objectives is to help the community connect with craft, offering a diverse range of arts and crafts classes and workshops, in subjects including bookbinding; ceramics; jewellery making; linocut printing; and painting.
Catering for a range of skill levels, many of its half- or one-day workshops are aimed at complete beginners. It also offers longer courses for people looking to really hone their skills in a particular discipline.
With craft activities providing the perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness, which helps to improve overall wellbeing, New Brewery Arts workshops and courses also help to combat loneliness by providing an opportunity to meet like-minded people and make new friends.
As Covid-19 restrictions come to an end and life seemingly gets back to normal, there’s never been a better time to focus on mental health – with a swathe of new classes and workshops at New Brewery Arts coming in spring.